What better way to view some of Australia’s gorgeous scenery than while driving along The Great Ocean Road located in the state of Victoria. Built to honor soldiers who lost their lives in World War I, the 78-year-old road offers such sights as Apollo Bay, and the Otway National Park. Australia is also home to featured jewelry designer Julia Denes.
The distinguishing hallmark of many 19th century Australian jewelry designs was not a stamp but an emblem; a carved out semblance of indigenous fauna or flora.
Designs of the times were made with gold and usually offset with agates, quartz, blue and yellow sapphires, and of course Australian opals.
Today, Australian designer jewelry is stamped with the respective artist’s personal hallmark, but styles and aesthetics are eclectic encompassing the streamlined, classic pearl and diamond items of Nina’s Jewellery to the sensual, provocative jewelry couture of Sarina Suriano.
Denes’ streamlined design approach gives a nod to the subtle beauty of Asian aesthetics with likenesses of lotus blossoms, fans, and butterflies each fashioned from 18-karat rose, yellow and white gold, and sterling silver.
A certified jeweler, gemologist and diamond grader, after graduating from Sydney’s College of Fine Arts Denes spent two years traveling the world. The close-up viewings of multi-cultural handicrafts kept alive through generations left an indelible mark.
By 2005, Denes was ready to establish her brand utilizing her education, time abroad, and valuable hands-on experience obtained while working for Australian brand Rox Jewellery to bring her fine jewelry collections to life.
The hand-sawed, cutout designs of her gold necklaces and sterling silver earrings provide delicacy and lightness, while the bright red and blue hues of two gemstone necklaces, one featuring red coral, and the other Arizona turquoise beads, exude a tangible primal tone indicative of the rustic Australian spirit.
Overall, she maintains clean lines within classic yet ornamental structures accenting forms with the deep, rich colors of orange and blue sapphires, red spinels, and diamonds.
“I draw inspiration from my surroundings whether it is a lily pad or beautiful symbol,” says Denes.
“I like to keep forms organic with pierced details and a clean finish. I want to create a special piece of jewelry that anyone can enjoy.”
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat White Gold Plated Lotus Pendant
Photo 2 (center): Six-Strand Arizona Turquoise Necklace
Photo 3 (bottom left): 18-Karat White Gold Ring with Blue Star Sapphire